Are you looking to gain more energy to
get you through winter?
Winter… it’s such a love/hate season isn’t it?
When it first appears, I welcome it with open, cashmere clad arms as it brings the Holidays and cosy Hygge opportunities aplenty. But sure enough, as the season progresses beyond Christmas, my energy seems to fade away as quickly as those precious daylight hours.
There are days when not even that third morning cup of coffee can make the slightest difference and by the time my old friend, The 2:30pm Slump rolls around, the only thing that will get me through is a twenty minute power nap.
N O M O R E F A L L I N G P R E Y
T O ” T H E S L U M P ” . . .
Call it age, necessity or a luxurious indulgence, I’ll happily point out that I see nothing wrong with a quick nap. However, for the rest of this winter, I’m setting myself a mission to try and get through the day without falling prey to The Slump every single time.
And I’m thinking, undertaking a mission to gain more energy should in turn help me follow through with that bigger intention of having a ‘me year.’
It feels incredibly refreshing to finally allow for some focus on things like energy and wellbeing instead of pushing on through endless To Do lists without any respite.
With more than our fair share of shorter, colder days still to come, I’m planning on trying these tips to help raise my energy levels…
This one? I’m making it a priority which is why it’s right at the top of the list.
At the end of last year I shared how I’m working to improve on my sleep habits and I’m here to push that notion again. Getting enough sleep is right at the forefront of having more energy, so a healthy sleep system should always be prioritised.
We all deserve more sleep so please make it your priority too.
Furthermore, taking breaks from technology and freeing my mind from constant stimulation is second only (and intrinsically linked) to the sleep issue. This one is still a work in progress but I’ve started with something small.
If I’m not going anywhere first thing on a weekend morning, I’ve purposefully developed a new habit of leaving my phone in the dressing room and I’ll sit with a book or magazine in my PJs. First comes a cup of tea and then a cup of coffee… and maybe a pastry!
If Mr OS is up and about I can laze in bed but if the rest of the house is still asleep, it feels great to sneak down to the dog for a cuddle on the sofa. And sometimes I’ll stay there, PJ clad until gone 10:00am.
It’s not lazy or indulgent – it’s called rest. This year I’m kicking the word “lazy” out of my own personal dictionary and replacing it with “recharge” instead.
I’m pretty sure that part of the reason I felt so sluggish as 2017 drew to a close was because my mind was constantly exhausted. It was filled to the brim with work, domestic chores, daily niggles and all those deeper “life” thoughts that seem to creep in more frequently as the years fly by.
When you look back and think about what the mind has to process on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that it gets so little time to rest. And we all know that a tired mind can be as crippling as a tired body.
If your mind is feeling burnt out, do yourself a huge favour and try single tasking instead.
Instead of existing in the “manic multi-tasking” zone where I’m helping with homework whilst cooking dinner, feeding the dog, “just answering that one more email” and attempting to post an Instagram, I’m going to try and take one task at a time more often.
W H E N Y O U A L L O W Y O U R M I N D T O F O C U S
T H E R E S U L T S A R E S U R P R I S I N G . . .
I started off last year by re-focusing on tackling tasks one at a time in my work day and it really does help with concentration. I now keep my email closed when working on a project or a blog post and I don’t start a new task until the current one is complete.
When you allow your mind to focus fully on something before shoving another request at it, the results can be surprisingly good.
Now I just need to bring that mindset over into the territory where the line blurs between work and home.
More of the right foods
If there’s one thing I notice that always sucks away my energy, it’s poor eating habits. Not only do I usually “crash” after certain foods that same day, but I’m definitely noticing more of that next day haze the morning after any indulgences.
Last week and for most of this one too, our food options are somewhat limited as the kitchen refurb progresses on. But if nothing else, it’s certainly served to bring home the nutritional value of some foods… and the distinct lack of it in others!
If you’re looking to gain more energy, consider incorporating intentional foods that are known to promote and boost energy levels over a longer period.
A N Y T H I N G H I G H I N I R O N I S
G O O D A T T H I S T I M E O F Y E A R . .
Instead of reaching for quick fix chocolate or biscuits (or chocolate biscuits), try a handful of almonds and dried fruit. Before the Nutribullet was packed away in the Big Kitchen Emptying Project, we were making a green breakfast smoothie that contained avocado and spinach and it was delicious. Anything high in iron is really good at this time of year.
I can’t wait to move back into the kitchen and be able to make some more goodness packed breakfast smoothies soon… but that won’t come at the expense of a weekend croissant indulgence either!
Some days the winter weather makes this one impossibly tricky, but exposure to Vitamin D and a little fresh air can serve as a major energy source. Let alone act as a total mood-lifter.
Even if you can’t bare to go outdoors, try moving towards a window for 10 minutes. Just stand, focus on some deep breaths and simply let your body soak up those natural vitamins.
Since sliding (oh so slowly some days), back into work mode, I’ve been making much more of an effort to get to the beach for our dog walks. I would previously think of this as intrusion on the time I could be working.
Now I think of it as an investment in the longer term, more productive and energised me.
As I try my best to prioritise more exercise and movement this year, one thing I’ve found that helps is to look for motivation in benefits related to something other than a dress size.
Exercise not only helps to produce endorphins (which lowers your stress levels – Amen!), but of course it also increases energy and brings with it a feeling of positivity.
This only comes when I do the “right” workout. For me it’s thats a pretty intense weekly Pilates class, a 20 minute yoga or stretching session (I’ve just signed up to Yoga With Adrienne) and walking. Preferably at the beach and accompanied by music on my headphones.
I view a positive mind and more energy as way more motivational than a number on a scale although I’ll happily embrace that side effect too!
The point is just to increase movement in your daily life – anything that leaves you feeling less sluggish is always a good thing.
And that’s about the long and the short of it. Not rocket science but five simple things that I’m pretty sure will show good results. If you’re up for trying them, I hope they’ll do the same for you too!
Over to you!
Which areas of wellbeing are you hoping to give more focus to this year? And have you found anything that helps with your own energy levels in the winter months?
STYLE CREDITS: PJs – Laurel Heath c/o | Chunky Knit Blanket – Lauren Aston | Tray – From a set of three at The White Company | Napkins – The White Company | Cup & Saucer – Habitat | Cushions – Next | Bed linen – Elizabeth Scarlett c/o | Prada Marfa Print – Etsy
Photography: Patrick Start